p4 user


Create or edit Perforce user specifications and preferences.


p4 [g-opts] user [-f] [username]
p4 [g-opts] user -d [-f] username
p4 [g-opts] user -o [username]
p4 [g-opts] user -i [-f]


Use the p4 user command to edit these settings or to create new user records. (By default, new users are created automatically. After installing Perforce, a Perforce superuser can control this behavior with the p4 configure command.)

There are three types of Perforce users: standard users, operator users, and service users. Standard users are the default, and each standard user consumes one Perforce license. The operator user type is intended for system administrators; they are subject to the same restrictions on permissions as any other user, but are further restricted in that they can run only a limited subset of Perforce commands. Service users are intended for inter-server communication in replicated and multi-server environments, and are restricted to an even smaller subset of Perforce commands. Neither operators nor service users consume Perforce licenses.

When called without a username, p4 user edits specification of the current user. When called with a username, the user specification is displayed, but cannot be changed. The form appears in the editor defined by the P4EDITOR environment variable.

Perforce superusers can create new users or edit existing users' specifications with the -f (force) option: p4 user -f username.

The user who gives a Perforce command is not necessarily the user under whose name the command runs. The user for any particular command is determined by the following:

  • If the user running the command is a Perforce superuser, and uses the syntax p4 user -f username, user username is edited.

  • If the -u username option is used on the command line (for instance, p4 -u joe submit), the command runs as that user (a password may be required);

  • If the above hasn't been done, but the file pointed to by the P4CONFIG environment variable contains a setting for P4USER, then the command runs as that user.

  • If neither of the above has been done, but the P4USER environment variable has been set, then the command runs as that user.

  • If none of the above apply, then the username is taken from the OS level USER or USERNAME environment variable.

Form Fields

Field Name





The Perforce username under which p4 user was invoked. By default, this is the user's system username.



Type of user: standard, operator, or service.



One of the following: perforce or ldap. This field can only be changed when the -f option is specified for the p4 user command.

  • Specifying perforce enables authentication using Perforce's internal db.user table or by way of an authentication trigger. This is the default unless it is overridden with the auth.method.default configurable.

  • Specifying ldap enables authentication against LDAP servers specified by the currently active LDAP configurations.



The user's email address. By default, this is user@client.



The date and time this specification was last updated.



The date and time this user last ran a Perforce command.



The user's full name.



A description of the jobs to appear automatically on all new changelists (described in the Usage Notes below).



The user's password (described in the Usage Notes below).



The date and time of the user's last password change. If the user has no password, this field is blank.


Writable List

A list of files the user would like to review (see the Usage Notes below).


-d username

Deletes the specified user. Only user username, or a Perforce superuser, can run this command.


Superuser force option; allows the superuser to modify or delete the specified user, or to change the last modified date.


Read the user specification from standard input. The input must conform to the p4 user form's format.


Write the user specification to standard output.


See the “Global Options” section.

Usage Notes

Can File Arguments Use Revision Specifier?

Can File Arguments Use Revision Range?

Minimal Access Level Required




  • The -d option can be used by non-superusers only to delete the user specification that invoked the p4 user command. Perforce superusers can delete any Perforce user.

  • User deletion fails if the specified user has any open files. Submit or revert these files before deleting users.

  • By default, user records are created without passwords, and any Perforce user can impersonate another by setting P4USER or by using the globally available -u option. To prevent another user from impersonating you, set a password with the p4 passwd command.

    Passwords can be created, edited, or changed in the p4 user form or by using the p4 passwd command. Setting your password in the p4 user form is only supported at security levels 0 or 1. You can p4 passwd to set passwords at any server security level, and you must use p4 passwd to set passwords at higher security levels. For more about how the various security levels work, see the Perforce Server Administrator's Guide: Fundamentals.

    If you edit a password in the p4 user form, do not use the comment character # within the password; Perforce interprets everything following that character on the same line as a comment, and does not store it as part of the password.

    If the dm.user.resetpassword configurable has been set, all users created with passwords are required to reset their passwords before they can issue commands.

  • Passwords are displayed as six asterisks in the p4 user form regardless of their length.

  • If you are using ticket-based authentication (see p4 login for details), changing your password automatically invalidates all of your outstanding tickets.

  • The collected values of the Email: fields can be listed for each user with the p4 users command, and can used for any purpose.

  • The p4 reviews command, which is used by the Perforce change review daemon, uses the values in the Reviews: field; when activated, it will send email to users whenever files they've subscribed to in the Reviews: field have changed. Files listed in this field must be specified in depot syntax; for example, if user joe has a Reviews: field value of


    then the change review daemon sends joe email whenever any README file has been submitted, and whenever any file under //depot/main has been submitted.

  • There is a special setting for job review when used with the Perforce change review daemon. If you include the value:


    in your Reviews: field, you will receive email when jobs are changed.

  • If you set the Jobview: field to any valid jobview, jobs matching the jobview appear on any changelists created by this user. Jobs that are fixed by the changelist should be left in the changelist when it's submitted with p4 submit; other jobs should be deleted from the form before submission.

    For example, suppose the jobs at your site have a field called Owned-By:. If you set the Jobview: field on your p4 user form to Owned-By=yourname&status=open, all open jobs owned by you appear on all changelists you create. See p4 jobs for a full description of jobview usage and syntax.

  • Operators are intended for system administrators who, even though they have super or admin privileges, are responsible for the maintenance of the Perforce service, rather than the development of software or other assets versioned by the service. Operators can run only the following commands:

  • Service users are used in replication environments, and can run only the following commands:


p4 user joe

View the user specification of Perforce user joe.

p4 user

Edit the user specification for the current Perforce user.

p4 user -d sammy

Delete the user specification for the Perforce user sammy.

p4 -u joe -P hey submit

Run p4 submit as user joe, whose password is hey.

This command does not work at higher security levels.

p4 user -f joe2

Create a new Perforce user named joe2 if the caller is a Perforce superuser, and joe2 doesn't already exist as a Perforce user. If user joe2 already exists, allow a Perforce superuser to modify the user's settings.

Related Commands

To view a list of all Perforce users

p4 users

To change a user's password

p4 passwd

To view a list of users who have subscribed to review particular files

p4 reviews

To control how new users are created by changing the dm.user.noautocreate configurable

p4 configure